Disassembled from Junaid Chundrigar on Vimeo.
I'm lucky no one was around in the lab when I took a break to watch this because I admit to cracking the fuck up a lot. The juxtaposition of the cartoon style and the shit going on in it are priceless.
In other news, I was watching Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and I'm still loving it. Last night, I caught an episode that introduced Carol Danvers and she was voiced by Jennifer Hale (otherwise known as Commander Shepard also known as the one of two voice actresses whose work I can guarantee you've heard). I'm now suuuuuuper psyched for her to come back. It looks like A:EMH is doing what Justice League did in its second season and first season of Unlimited, which is bring in more heroes/villains from the fringes, and I am ALL about enjoying the shit out of that. Just so long as they bring Jennifer Hale back. I need more of her dulcet tones in my life.
Disassembled from Junaid Chundrigar on Vimeo.
Perhaps the greatest sin of this trailer--of the movie itself whenever it manifests--is not that it will be bad but that it could be good. That's a pity because it could be really good, but if it's covering the same territory as the Raimi Spider-Man movies, it won't blow up anybody's skirts. Raimi's movies only really fell apart at the end (and let us now promise never to speak of Spider-Man 3 ever again). He told the story of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, of Uncle Ben's death, quite well. Whatever you say about Tobey Maguire's rubbery-faced ham of a Peter Parker, about Kirsten Dunsts' completely lifeless Mary Jane, or Willem Dafoe's quite astonishingly campy Green Goblin, the movie did cover the-hero-gets-his-start part with a deft hand. (Sure, it was a light hand, but we weren't ready for The Dark Knight then. Hell, we weren't ready for Batman Begins then.) This new Spider-Man movie looks like it could cover the same ground with heart-wrenching seriousness that is both compelling and believable for all that it's about a kid being bitten by a spider and getting superpowers. The problem remains that it is covering the same ground.
Sony wants to keep Spider-Man. I get it. Depending on what happens with Captain America this weekend, Marvel could be on an unstoppable rampage through the multiplex. Thor's a hit, a surprise one, like Iron Man before it, and The Avengers is coming, and even the unevenness of Iron Man 2 or possible failure outright of Captain America (oh please don't be true, oh please oh please) won't stop that. If Sony were to lose the Spider-Man franchise and Marvel got that back? Fuck, man. The Avengers would fucking KICK OUR COLLECTIVE ASSES. I assume not wanting to lose Wolverine to the Avengers is another reason to make something like X-Men: First Class (the main reason being money, duh). But Sony needed to do something different. I like Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone both, and Rhys Ifans could be really fun as Dr. Connors. There's just no way they'll get to make the real go of having their own thing or making Spider-Man their own. It's just too soon. I liked The Incredible Hulk (what is it about reboots and modifiers?), but no one but me paid much attention because it came less than five years The Hulk, no one cared. And The Hulk was a shit shit shit movie. Imagine the difficulty you have convincing people to see a reboot that retreads a movie they liked. Why pay $13 a ticket for something you can watch on Blu-Ray at home?
It's funny that XKCD can be completely obscure engineering/math nerd stuff and then can be broadly understandable and sympathetic in the very next cartoon. This is one of the most "SO TRUE" moments I've had with the comic in a while. It's up there with "Someone is wrong on the internet!" and "You're a kitty!"
I saw Anything Goes last night. Had a great time.( I need to go out to the theater more often! )
I should note that my marked interest in theater correlates, possibly, to my dread of the next few weeks of cinematic releases. I'm bang-on for completing my New Year's resolution to see a movie-a-week, but the next three weekends' movies? Green Lantern always looked horrible. There was one second of my life, though, where, after seeing X-Men: First Class and having it not suck despite the marketing department doing everything it could to make me think it would, where I thought the same could be true of Green Lantern. Yes, the trailers were THAT BAD. The CGI was THAT BAD. But X-Men: First Class was not a total loss, so maybe...
Then I passed exactly one poster for Green Lantern and came to my goddamn senses, as the early reviews confirm my worst suspicions. One interesting line at The A.V. Club's review struck me as a brilliant summation of what's wrong with the movie and why the DC properties aren't experiencing the phenomenal revival the Marvel ones are:
"Green Lantern tries to make a case of human exceptionalism: Out of the thousand-plus species comprising the Green Lantern Corps, only Hal, the newcomer, has the humanity that can save the universe"
( Hero exceptionalism: some meta )
Perhaps none of that matters. Perhaps Green Lantern is just a shitty movie and Warner Brothers has just had uneven luck in bringing DC's properties to life and Marvel has had astonishingly good luck. Maybe it's not about the fundamental differences between the two comic giants' philosophies on heroism and it's just a question of talent and trust. But I don't think so. For starters, the WB has thrown so much money and recruited plenty of talented folk for its movies. And they only have The Dark Knight going for them. (Granted, a $1Bn movie isn't such a bad thing to have going for you.) There's got to be something there, right?
After the debacle that was shoe-horning in Black Widow into iron Man 2 and all the Avengers stuff that Jon Favreau clearly wanted nothing to do with, I was, despite my abiding love of Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson (who I think is way more interesting than Samuel L. Jackson as Fury), quite done with the crossover stuff to a degree. I knew that there would be some Avengers stuff in Thor, especially a much talked-about cameo by ( spoiler! ). The aspect of a cameo, in particular, annoyed me because it would either be a throwaway scene that stopped the momentum entirely or would be a literally nothing scene where you couldn't tell who or what you were supposed to be excited about.
As it turned out, the cameo was more the latter than the former, but it worked for me. It was just significant enough that you went, "Wow, we seem to be more involved with this one guy than we have any of the other faceless SHIELD agents," and no more involved than that. If you didn't know who it was, you didn't really notice. This is in direct contrast to the very heavy presence of SHIELD in the movie. Some people felt that it was still being studio-mandated or whatever into being. I think that setting up Agent Coulson as a means to throw Thor and his human companions in together a little more firmly really helped instead of hurt the film.
A.O. Scott's review was extremely negative despite the fact that he, for the most part, conceded that the movie was good. It's funny because he was especially upset that the movie was good and it exists, in part, to be a prologue to the Avengers movie. There's a point to be made there, that this movie, however good or bad it may be, is part of a money-making scheme that obligates you to return for more later to get the entire payoff. I understand that, but that's more a criticism that should be lobbed at a not-great movie that boosts its popularity by demanding that you see it in order to understand what comes later (Iron Man 2) versus one that is good and has some elements that will set up a later movie (but doesn't require that you see it for something else). Look, Marvel made its bones on its crossovers, but people liked those crossovers. Yes, it's a crass commercial calculation, but if it also pleases the audience, it isn't just about money.
All this is a long way of saying that my antipathy towards the advertising for The Avengers has been mostly dissipated. In fact, I think I threw myself firmly in the opposite camp and now I want alllllll the franchises to go into a blender. I think I, in all seriousness, endorsed an Ocean's Eleven/The Fast and the Furious crossover. I would love to see Vin Diesel and George Clooney plot a heist together. For real.
As ever, it skewers these movies...with love! I particularly enjoy Green Lantern getting pissed off about how he doesn't just have to compete against one Marvel hero, he's got to compete against three (if you count the X-Men as a unit; if not...). Because, really, DC, your tent-pole movie is Green Lantern this year? Still no Wonder Woman? Not even the goddamned Flash? (Who, I guarantee, has better name recognition.) I bet you we see the backside of the second Avengers movie before we see the JLA on screen. The shit is wrong with you, Warner Bros/DC? How come you can't catch this fever for superheroes? Put the guys who've been in charge of your mostly excellent DCAU in charge of making a goddamned JLA movie already. Despite the mediocrity of the DCAU movies, they are still light years ahead of what Green Lantern is shaping up to be.
Anyway, I went to look up Garth Ennis to see what all else he's written. Apparently, some Hellblazer, which figures--his sense of humor and John Constantine's are nearly a perfect match. He also wrote the first six issues of The Darkness, as well as another corker of a miniseries, "Heart of Darkness," which !!!! I have the trades and I re-read 'em not infrequently. Say what you will about other Top Cow series--hell, say what you want about The Darkness--but they at least had style. And Garth Ennis literally wrote the best stories of that entire franchise, far as I'm concerned. Jackie worked best as the literal and figurative bastard he was before he was re-written to be more, I dunno, gritty or sympathetic. Ennis' Jackie was never a hero. He wasn't even saintly enough to be an antihero. He was an absolute asshole, with a streak of violence a mile wide with only his scant-few but bone-deep loyalties to redeem him as a character. He was also whip-smart and creative, which you should be, if you can help it, when you control a power that allows anything you dream to be. If they ever do get a Darkness movie off the ground, I'd love to see them go with Ennis' take on it.
But hot damn! He writes really well. I've got to check out more of his stuff!
...I love Preacher. I have gotten through fully half the series already. True, it's a short series, but to do as much in two days? I really have fun with it, and I can totally see why all the rumors of its getting made into a movie/TV series, even on HBO, have never been realized into an actual product. I don't know that it would survive the transition to be as good even if it were done by the best of the best to the best of the best's ability. Frankly, love it or not, it's got a lot of high melodrama that wouldn't translate into a medium where people would actually have to say any of the things or explain the various backstories. Jesse's backstory, in particular, seems nearly impossible to film in such a way that wouldn't be ridiculously camp.
This is what I worry about with any adaptation, which I don't really have to worry about because holy shit, not even HBO is going to touch on this "God is a Dick" stuff. Supernatural gets away with angels being dicks, but I doubt anyone could really write a non-comedic take on God that wouldn't piss off absolutely anyone who believes in him. Hell, Kevin Smith couldn't get away with a comedy about God, and his God was quirky, cute, and ultimately loving. The same cannot be said about Preacher's God. It's still kind of a shame it won't get made. Were a channel like HBO to take the reins, this could be dynamite stuff. It would also be a funny pairing with something like True Blood, which has an equally irreverent attitude and a similar enjoyment of frivolous sex. But it doesn't need it, and it wouldn't probably be done right. Oh well.
We can also be glad to know that Sandman isn't getting an on-screen treatment either. Well, at least not this time that someone with clout and a will looked into making it. I'm not the hugest fan of Sandman (or Gaiman), but I know nothing could ever do that comic justice. We'd have to fundamentally alter what we expect of viewers versus what we expect of readers. TV has come a long way, especially with audiences increasingly willing--and demanding--serially plotted shows, but we're not there yet to do justice to something as multifaceted as Sandman. Believe you me, even though I'm not a fangirl for the series, I know that Sandman is just too far-reaching (more so than the likewise impossible-to-make-a-film-out-of-but-
I'm actually not at all upset about Tom Hardy playing Bane. As several of the commenters at io9 pointed out pictorially, he could pull off the shape just fine. We only have to hope that Nolan uses him in the slyer, smarmier way that he did in Inception (rather than how Joel Schumacher used the character in that film I refuse to believe exists). It could work.
It's Anne Hathaway I remain unconvinced by. Anne Hathaway is, in a word, cute. She's cute, cutesy, pretty, girly, twee, etc., etc., etc. None of these are things I associate with Catwoman. I don't doubt her abilities as an actress, though, again, most of what I've seen her in has generally fit into the label "twee" without spilling over. (Before you tell me, I'll let you all know I still haven't seen her in Brokeback Mountain, in which I hear she was great. I promise I will get on that.)
Perhaps I'm just disappointed that my much-preferred casting choice for the role, Rachel Weisz, didn't get it. Maybe they're saving her for Talia al Ghul? I don't know. But Rachel Weisz is TEH SEX in mind, body, voice, and attitude. Funnily enough, the first thing I saw her in was The Mummy, in which she plays what I would call the Anne Hathaway type--ditzy, pretty, somewhat smart but not overly arrogant. But ever since then, the woman has been made of sex (including in the less-good sequel to The Mummy in which she wears so much eyeliner I died). It's a missed opportunity to have her in the movie.
Still? It's a Nolan Bat-film, so it'll be good, Anne Hathaway or no. I should just be glad that Catwoman has plot immunity and can't be killed off just to make the hero feel ways about stuff like Nolan does in all his movies....right?
No sir, I don't like it. I can be talked into accepting the fact that Emma Frost is dressed like a belly dancer--though I bemoan the loss of her corset, the attitude is there. This is all the more surprising for the fact that January Jones, she of the mousy voice and mousy everything else, who never really lets on whether she's acting as though she's a piece of furniture on Mad Men or if she's just badly acting, is playing Emma Frost. I still haven't got high hopes for her in the role. It requires a stone-cold bitch, and if they were going to bother scraping talent from AMC, I think Christina Hendricks would have done a much better job. (And probably looked FUCKING AMAZING in a goddamned white corset, just saying.)
But the rest of the picture is a total loss. Apologies to glvalentine but her man Fassbender looks ridiculous. It may be the disconnect of seeing him in an X-man uniform, as the blogger points out. At least he doesn't look so markedly out of place and bizarre as James McAvoy. I pretty much hate the whole picture, but they stand out as the bookends to a supremely awful promo shot. I am almost incensed at the Mystique. Rebecca Romjin was too, too perfect as Mystique, a character who I consistently loved, up until she was sabotaged the hell out of that shit third movie. (There was a third one? Nooooo...) As crap as the stories got with the X-Men movies, Mystique was next to perfect--suitably badass, homicidal, vicious, and, naturally, dead sexy. (She got great lines, too.) This person with her This Island Earth forehead is unacceptable. This movie is obviously going to have to play merry hob with the timeline as set up by the movies. Hell, Wolverine already fucked continuity all to blazes. Why remain so faithful to that one character's appearance when you're fucking everything else up?
IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT I COULD BE
Okay, so, in less capslock-y analysis, I like these pictures. A lot. I am sure most people will look at the Captain America one in particular and give me the big o.O face from behind their compu-machines. But I'm digging it. It is kind of outrageous and yet perfect. I think the suit does an impossibly good job at being everything all at once. It's period-appropriate and still future-forward as fashion. As in, I know someone in the 1940s could have made this outfit, but since real life is not a comic book, no one ever did. It manages to conform to Chris Evans' body shape (which, as I may have mentioned before, is pretty much my sole reason for seeing this movie, humminah humminah humminah) without being ridiculously stiff looking, like the X-Men movie uniforms or the Batsuits of the Burton era. It also manages to capture the spirit of the Cap's spandex suit while not being entirely faithful to it.
The Spider-Man photo is impressive in its own right, too. Most significantly, they don't try to buff up Andrew Garfield in it. It remains to be seen if he'll be as impressive without the muscle suit when he's moving around and not strategically posed in the shadows. But I dig a lean Spidey. He's pretty much always been a beanpole, especially compared to the over-muscled among the other Avengers and what not. (Which, because Sony has the rights to Spider-Man for the foreseeable future, I doubt he'll be joining onscreen.) One of my favorite interpretations of Spider-Man is Ultimate Spider-Man, and this feels like that's where they're taking this. I am still not entirely cool with a reboot of a movie that came out eight-nine years ago and whose sequels ended three years ago, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. Well played, Spider-Man reboot!
(Hmm, will they call it The Amazing Spider-Man to differentiate it from Raimi's trilogy, do you think? Or Spectacular Spider-Man? Or would they just do a fangirl some service and name it Ultimate Spider-Man?)
I know our phones here are somewhat bad. People are constantly asking me to repeat things or speak up. They are definitely too soft. If I try to talk in my not-shouty phone voice, no one can hear me. But the people at HP were obviously all Colombian or something, since they all spoke heavily-accented English and three of five couldn't understand when I said "Zero" when reading out order and part numbers. Want that half hour of my life back, man.
I will cheer myself up with this even more ridiculous trailer for Priest. I thought this movie couldn't look any worse. I am not ashamed to admit I was wrong. This does not make me want to see this movie less. In fact, I may be more pissed off that it got bumped back from March to May. I still love you, Vampire Karl Urban. I love you in everything, including that time you had a braided mullet in Chronicles of Riddick and were a different sort of undead.
There is also this picture of Captain America getting a tan. This is relevant to my interests in that it amuses me that what I thought was a faux-Norman Rockwell beefcake picture is actually an authentic Normal Rockwell Captain America beefcake picture. Thanks for that, io9! (For more cheesecake shots of superheroes in their even skimpier bathing suits, the io9 post is here.)
Point is, excited as I am, I'm not stupid. I'm also not really going into it thinking "This could be the next Iron Man!" Imma gonna get me sommathis:
Am I shallow? FUCK YES. But I know what I'm in it for. I'm not in it for good. I'm in it for beefcake. (Ooh, and 1940s lady hair. I love me some victory rolls!)
But even with my shallower-than-a-drop-of-water-hitting-
This interview about why The Wolfman isn't The Wolfman's director's fault IS NOT HELPING. Basically, he says that whatever Captain America is or is not, it is not The Wolfman, which is like saying while your movie may not be Citizen Kane, it is still better than those commercials Orson Welles did at the end of his life. "I only did The Wolfman 'cause I was 'po. Now Marvel has showered me with money to make this movie, iz allllll goooooood, baby."
This would be the same Marvel Studios that paid Robert Downey Jr. less than a million dollars (reputedly) for the first Iron Man. That balked at paying Jon Favreau any more money for Iron Man 2 despite the fact that he delivered them a hit that cost them next to nothing. Whose continued refusal to pay talent what it's worth has led to Favreau being ousted as director of Iron Man 3. (And led to the replacement of Terrence Howard by Don Cheadle, but that's fine 'cause I loves me some of the Cheadle.) The studio that almost wouldn't take JOSS WHEDON, HE OF THE INCREDIBLY RABID AND LOYAL FAN BASE, for The Avengers because of his price.
Either this director got $5 to make The Wolfman, or the previously tight-fisted Marvel got an accounting sphincter-loosened. And I'm not going to lie--I could believe that The Wolfman was made for $5. They could have just filmed Anthony Hopkins drunk on his weekend in his dirty old mansion, for all I know. Judging by the state of Benecio del Toro's eye bags, ditto. Hugo Weaving, it is assumed, shows up places in period or fantasy costumes all the time. It's not inconceivable that he raided Hopkins' place dressed like a Victorian dandy.
That means this Joe Johnston person is, like, SUPER PSYCHED about his budget of $15. Must remind myself: beefcake. As long as there is beefcake...
This is also a milestone year for she and I as we will have known each other for TEN YEARS at this point. For those of you not in the know, we met our freshman year at the Columbia University Science Fiction Society. I exposed my general ignorance of literature and declared the literary heroine I most admired/wanted to be like was the Dark Phoenix. feiran came up to me and was all "YOU LIKE X-MEN COMICS?! I LIKE THEM. LET US BE FRIENDS." Why she'd want to be friends with someone who just declared that a genocidal super-being was her favorite person is still somewhat beyond me. But it worked out okay in the end. Much abuse, and many, many years of cohabitation later--TEN YEARS TO BE PRECISE--and we're still going, even in separate cities. Let's hope that continues for another decade.
A decade. Holy God, am I old. Lucky for me, feiran is older (for the next 3.5 months)!
Happy Birthday wishes to my friend and co-Twilight Scene It-winning teammate kent_allard_jr as well! You, sir, are a gentleman and scholar and an extremely good sport about all the dolphin-rape-related teasing we heap on your just about every time we all hang out. We kid because we love!
Have a great one, solstice babies!
Personally, I'd protest any movie that doesn't have Idris Elba in it. (HOTT.) Give this man allllll the roles in Hollywood, kthanxbai.
Here's a great take-down of the racists' claims. Look, racism is bad. But with a little more of this kind of racism, we might just kill the whole evil, malingering cancer of racism outright. Bad day to be a racist if these guys are your spokesmen. And I say men, because, let's face it, only a bunch of white dudes would get this far up their own assholes about Idris Elba. (Because they secretly wish it were Idris Elba up there.)
In other, less hormonally-driven news excitement, I got to see the first episode of The Walking Dead. Truly, it is gorgeously done. It remains to be seen if the story really takes off. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of what they're doing with this series. However, being as well-versed as I am in zombie movie-ology, there's not yet a lot going on that hasn't gone on before in zombie movies. One thing that's actually nice is that this is a very slow story of the apocalypse. As in, the rushing around and panic aren't really the focus. It's slow and steady survives the zombies with this show. So, yeah, there's that. Hopefully, by the time I finish my test, I'll have enough episodes stored up for a good long marathon.
In all seriousness, the pictures that they've chosen are surprisingly well done. They look period-accurate and they capture some of the spirit and fun of the movie. The one still of the Cap walking away with the old shield slung over his shoulder (but being otherwise togs-less) looks like a panel from a comic. I like! Plus Hugo Weaving smiling demonically? SIGN ME UP.
Back to looking at Chris Evans with his shirt off. I'll be in my bunk. (Which I actually have!)
Flash forward (oh, oops, pun) to 2009, and he's gonna be Hal Jordan. Eh, not as good, and there's this all-CGI suit that is really not necessary, I think, when your leading man looks like this:
We don't need CGI to put some spandex on that, do we?
Anyway, I bring all this up because I have just heard a rumor that Bradley Cooper is likely to be the Flash in the ongoing attempt of Warner Bros. and DC to catch up with Marvel on the movie front. It's not as good a match. If anything, he and Ryan Reynolds need to swap places, and then the Lantern star should be Kyle Rayner, not Hal Jordan. (Fuck, it should John Stewart, as played by someone sexy like Idris Elba.) Cooper's humor is just more mean-spirited in delivery than Reynolds' ever has or will be, and I like my Flash cuddly and funny.
Then again, Bradley Cooper as the Flash means we get this in spandex, and I suddenly have no complaints:
He's leaner than Reynolds, too, as a Flash should be, if he can help it. Here's hoping those rumors pan out!
(To the ladies and gay men: You're welcome!)
The show was good, too. :P
I also found out today that the AC&C in NYC (that's "Animal Care and Control") does, in fact, want to interview me to volunteer. Volunteering, besides the GRE, is the last bit of polish my application (hopefully next year!) for veterinary school needs. To be super-awesome for that, I should, like, go shadow vets in the city. Still working up to that one. It takes a lot of chutzpah to go into a clinic and ask to follow a vet around. It does if you're me, I mean. I blushed so hard asking Stephen Colbert a question--that he solicited! Imagine how well I do asking people for favors who aren't really looking to give any out. I get so, so red. So first step, get in good with AC&C. Second step: ??? Third Step: vet school!